MATCH REPORT: Newport County AFC 2 – 3 Salford City FC

County fell to a 3-2 defeat at Rodney Parade on Tuesday after Ryan Leak’s 83rd minute winner proved to be the final goal after Newport had staged a stirring comeback during the second half.

Entering the final 20 minutes the Exiles were 2-0 down but two goals in three minutes brought County back into the game and with the wind back in their sails looked to be the team most likely to go on and grab the winner. However, Salford’s third goal seven minutes from time proved to be the winner.

Heavy rain in South Wales in the hours preceding kick-off meant that the surface at Rodney Parade was slick and perfect for the type of football that both teams wanted to play, however the opening moments seemed like both sides were attempting to figure each other out, and the surface, out.

The game’s first chance came in the 9th minute when Brandon Thomas-Asante found some space just outside the area but drilled a shot close enough to Nick Townsend for him to push away. Lewis Collins then fashioned County’s first chance when his hard work put him in a position to dispossess a Salford defender, however he powered his effort over the bar.

Callum Hendry had a great chance to give Salford the lead when he cut inside shortly after and curled an effort that looked as though it could finish inside the post however ended up whistling past Townsend’s goal.

Newport’s best chance of the first half fell seven minutes before half-time when Mickey Demetriou’s long throw was flicked on at the near post by Cameron Norman and fell to Omar Bogle in the middle of the box only for his goal bound effort to deflect off a Salford defender and agonisingly out for a corner.

After both teams went in level at the break, the visitors came out strongly and took the lead on 54 minutes when Luke Bolton flicked the ball past Adam Lewis, drove towards the box before cutting inside onto his left foot and curling an effort round Nick Townsend and into the bottom corner.

Bolton caused problems minutes later when he found himself inside the box, where he squared the ball, only for it to take a nick off Cameron Norman and bounce over a helpless Townsend into the back of the net to give Salford a two-nil lead.

County began to push forward and had fantastic opportunities to score through Lewis Collins and then from Omar Bogle who was picked out by Collins after some great wing play, only for his effort to be nudged behind. Salford’s defence didn’t hold out much longer as, from the resulting corner, the ball fell to Scot Bennett who forced the ball home from 7 yards to give County hope.

With their tails up, County earnt a free kick on the halfway line just minutes later and the ball fell to Bennett once again in the corner of the box, which he volleyed towards the far post where Omar Bogle was waiting to divert the ball past the Salford keeper for his second of the season and to restore parity between the teams.

County pressed and looked to be the team more likely to take all three points, however in the 83rd minute, Salford won a corner and as the corner was floated in, Ryan Leak rose above all others to send the points home with Salford to Manchester.

Home Team: Townsend, Norman, Bowen (Moriah-Welsh, 52), Clarke, Bogle, Waite (Zimba, 91), Lewis, Bennett, Collins, Ad. Lewis (Evans, 58), Demetriou


Home Team Subs Not Used: Day, Farquharson, Dolan, Stokes


Away Team: King, Toupay, Bolton, Vassell, Lowe, Nartey (Leak, 68), Watt, Watson, Asante, Hendry (Berkoe, 94), Lund (Smith, 85)


Away Team Subs Not Used: Torrance, Porter, Sargent, Simoes